NORMANDY PARK, Wash — A female clerk at a Normandy Park gas station was heavily assaulted on Sept. 15 during a robbery.
The Friendly Normandy Market had only just opened in March, and the employee, Leah Johnston, was just trying to do her job Friday night when she said one of the robbers came behind the desk "swinging."
"He came up swinging, there was no talking there was no -- I never even said anything," said Johnston, the cashier. "He caught me with one good one to my face and I hit the ground."
Johnston has worked as a cashier for years, however, so she said she knew it was best for her safety not to engage or try to fight back physically.
"I was like, 'Stop hitting me, I'm not fighting you,'" said Johnston. "I noticed I do have a slight black eye today."
She said the guy hitting her looked about 17 or 18 years old, but added that it is "hard to say."
The surveillance camera footage shows six people at the Friendly Normandy Market stealing money from the till and grabbing items from the store at about 9 p.m.
There were six of them, police said, and according to Johnston, they stole some vapes, candy bars, and less than $100 from the register.
"Kids-- juveniles, whatever-- they need to be held accountable for their actions more," said Johnston.
Accountability is something Normandy Police said they are working on with this case. A spokesperson for Normandy Park Police Department said, "The investigation is continuing to identify and hold accountable those responsible."
KING 5 also spoke with the store's owner Monday.
"She did nothing at all, which is the most important thing," said Med Said, owner of Friendly Normandy Market. "She is very brave."
He said another thing that felt brazen about the crime was the timing: it happened around 9 o'clock Friday night, and two doors over is the popular Normandy Park Ale House restaurant, which Said described as "full of people" at the time.
Said told KING 5 he is planning on hiring security at the store. In the meantime, Johnston's taking time to heal.
She said it was the stomping once she was down that felt the most painful.
"Because I ended up with a big ole lump on my head," she said.
But you cannot keep Johnston down for long. Within seconds-- you can see in the surveillance video-- she was back on her feet again.
"I'm not a victim. I'll never be a victim," she said. "It hurt my inner being. My outer being is tough. I'm fine."
She has even decided she will go back to work soon.
"They're not gonna take my job away from me. I like my job, I like my community out there. it's a really nice community," said Johnston.
Normandy Park Police Chief Dan Yourkoski ttold KING 5 that they recovered the two stolen cars that were used: one in a neighborhood in Normandy Park and the other in Kent after it was involved in an accident. But he said all the occupants ran off before police got there, so the investigation continues.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.